In The Bleak Midwinter: A Special Agent Constance Mandalay Novel

Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews
In 1975 the small town of Hulis was ground zero in a frantic search for 10 year-old Merrie Frances Callahan, as well as an intense manhunt for her abductor.

35 years later, it seems the FBI would like to pretend it never happened.

Special Agent Constance Mandalay didn't get that memo...

Based on the short teaser novella MERRIE AXEMAS, In The Bleak Midwinter tells the WHOLE story... More

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About M. R. Sellars

A member of the ITW (International Thriller Writers), M. R. Sellars is a relatively unassuming homebody who, in his own words, considers himself just a “guy with a lot of nightmares and a word processing program.” Legend has it he started making up stories to entertain a stuffed bear during his single digit years, then began writing them down sometime around his early teens when the growing catalogue of fiction started causing him to experience migraines. Although he had several short stories and newspaper articles published during his early adult life, it wasn’t until 2000 that his first full-length novel, Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation, hit bookstore shelves, officially launching the acclaimed paranormal thriller series.

Sellars says that the biggest adjustment he has had to make with his writing career is coping with the time spent away from his family while traveling on promotional tours. Still, he approaches the necessity of public appearances with the same humorously deadpan and satirical wit that he applies to life in general, stating, “As long as I have an RC Cola and a bag of peanuts, I’m all good, Bubba.”

All of the current novels in Sellars’ continuing Rowan Gant Investigations saga have spent several consecutive weeks on numerous bookstore bestseller lists as well as a consistent showing on the Amazon.com Horror/Occult top 100. In 2010 a short e-novella featuring a supporting character from the RGI cast spawned a new series, The Special Agent Constance Mandalay Novels, the first in the spinoff being IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, which hit the streets November 2011.

Sellars currently resides in the Midwest with his incomparably amazing wife, equally fantastic daughter, and a pair of felines he describes as, “the competition.” At home, when not writing or taking care of the household, he indulges his passions for cooking and hanging out with friends. In order to satisfy his lifelong dream of being a satirical humor columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper, twice each week he removes his glasses, dons blue tights and a red cape, then blogs about the incredibly bizarre world that is his life as a writer, husband, and father. It has been said that his blog articles sometimes blur the line between fiction and reality. To that Sellars responds, “What line?”

M. R. Sellars can be located on the web wherever there is a virtual bar serving virtual single malt Scotch, single barrel bourbon, good Irish whisky, and decent beer. In other words, look for him on the major social networking sites.

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Reviews

Review by: Mike Gleason on Feb. 19, 2012 :
In the Bleak Midwinter by M.R. Sellars © 2011 WillowTree Press eBook $4.99 (U.S.)

I have been a fan of M.R. Sellars' writing since I read the first Rowan Gant Investigation a number of years ago. Over that time those of us who have followed Rowan's adventures have gotten to know Rowan and his fiery red-haired wife (Felicity) in depth. We have also come to have a better understanding of Ben Storm, friend and contact with the St. Louis Police Department. Lately we have begun to know Constance Mandalay (FBI agent and Ben's on-again/off-again lover) in more detail. This is her first full-length, stand-alone excursion. The basis of the story has already been told (in “Merrie Axemas” - last year's e-novella from WillowTree Press). In fact, this book is a fleshing out of that particular offering, with some additions, a few subtractions, and a whole lot more story to be told.

I have missed Sellars' style and ability to take subjects which should be totally unbelievable and make them come out as at least plausible. My only fear, at this point, is that with so many interesting characters to choose from (Rowan, Felicity, and Constance) the temptation may arise to divert more of his energy into stand-alone stories with less of the “team” stories. There has already been a sub-plot of stories which focused on Felicity as the central character and, although it was carried off well in a predetermined short arc of stories, I would hate to see Sellars get diverted from telling us about Rowan's experiences. I've seen other authors try to produce concurrent series and it has seldom worked out for the best.

A lot of the questions raised in “Merrie Axemas” are addressed and answered in this book. Some of the answers are pretty unbelievable if you have never dealt with the sorts of things Constance has encountered in her experiences with Ben, Rowan and Felicity. And that even applies to Constance herself. She has trouble accepting some of what happens. To her credit, however, no matter how impossible things seem, she is willing to trust what she experiences.

It seemed somehow fitting that I got around to tackling this book as the Christmas holiday barreled towards us. Honestly, I had hoped to get to it earlier, but I received a large quantity of books at about the same time, and I decided to save this until after I had worked my way through several more “serious” books, as a kind of holiday treat. I'm glad I did.

If you have read any (or all) of the Rowan Gant Investigation books, you will want this book. If you read the e-novella last year, you need to get this book. If neither of the above apply, but you enjoy a good mystery with some supernatural overtones, pick up a copy of this book (or check out the publisher's website for information regarding the availability of this and other ebooks).
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: nancy defreitas on Feb. 07, 2012 :
I thought this book was truely amazing and I would highly reommend this book to anyone who wants amazing story to read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: John Swingle on Feb. 07, 2012 :
M. R. Sellars has outdone himself with his newest novel. The first featuring FBI agent Constance Mandalay as the main character. A mystery/horror tale that you won't be able to put down. Just when you think you have it figured out, another plot twist proves you wrong. The ending will leave you wanting more. Buy this book and check out M.R. Sellars other novels.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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